One Gazette contributor of portentous mien had this to say about Blakemores: ‘This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’

It might appear tasteless to invoke Churchill’s famous quote in the context of a law firm’s collapse; more especially because the war leader was being positive. But that contributor, sadly, has a point.

As the Law Society has acknowledged, the profession is facing ‘the most difficult and challenging of times’ as the coalition’s devastating assault on access to justice funding and its Faustian pact with the insurance lobby bites hard on lawyers. Blakemores followed hard upon Atteys, and it seems certain more well-known names will disappear.

What is particularly concerning about Blakemores’ collapse is that the firm appeared to embody many of the characteristics deemed essential to succeed in the new legal market. It placed a premium on accessibility, outward-facing marketing and using ‘leads’ proactively; it even had the pithy sub-brand. If the future of legal services at that level does not look something like Lawyers2You, then what does it look like?

Gazette Online today launches a web discussion addressing that very subject, partly prompted by Chancery Lane’s own initiative, Surviving the Storm. Do contribute to the debate on strategies for success at.